Author Archives: joetaft2017

Seven Alarm Fire Engulfs Park St. Factory

Joe Taft, RHS Veritas Sports Editor

A massive fire began during the early hours of the morning at 65 Park street in Rockland. For those who aren’t familiar, that is the one-way street off of Union Street in the center of town. What is being reported as a 7 alarm fire (as of this publishing) has led to nearby home evacuation, as well as power outages scattered through the area. The fire was reported to be so big that the amounts of black smoke were being picked up on local news radars.

Rockland Public Schools were originally delayed two hours by Superintendent Dr. Alan Cron, but we are now awaiting a statement from the Department of Education in regards to MCAS testing, which was scheduled for this morning at 8:00. RHS principal John Harrison sent out a mass email regarding the situation. The testing was supposed to last until 10:38 this morning, but we are all on hold until after 8:00 when the Department of Education is expected to make a statement.

Thank you to the brave men and women battling the fire to keep our beloved town safe.

UPDATE (8:49)

School will begin at 10:00am for Rockland High School. MCAS testing has been delayed until tomorrow and pushed up to Friday for the final day. All students must report to A Block at 10:00am. The schedule is as follows:

A – (10-11)

E – (11:04-12:34) Lunch block

F – 12:37-1:34

G – 1:38-2:35

Bulldogs Defeat Cohasset 28-7 On Gridiron

Joe Taft – Veritas Sports Editor

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Photos courtesy of Rockland High Sports and Jeanine Reardon

The Rockland Bulldogs took on the Cohasset Skippers in the first game of the new football season.

They fell behind early, but the Dogs did not back down. They scored 28 unanswered points after going down in the first quarter to start the season off on the right foot with a win.

Senior running back John Goode found the end zone to tie the game at 7 with 2:51 to go in the first quarter. Goode ran for the one score and 50 yards.

Senior quarterback Matthew Dunn was finding success through the air on Friday night. He found junior tight-end Zach Sharland open in the end-zone for a nine yard touchdown.

Rockland led 21-7 after Dunn ran a 1-yarder right past the goal line for a score. Dunn finished the night 11-16 passing for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns, (one passing, one running).

Senior running back Noah Mazzilli ran for 47 yards. Junior Jon Barr ran for 72 yards, including a 52 yard touchdown run that ultimately pushed the score out of the reach of Cohasset.

Rockland takes on Abington this Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, as they look to start a winning streak. They will try to avenge the loss they suffered at home against the Green Wave last year.

FINAL: Rockland 28-Cohasset 7


Annual Speedball Tournament to Be Held Next Week

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Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor

As the end of the school year is upon the student population at Rockland High, usually the kids would have their minds set on summer vacation.

Since just last year, a newfound tradition at RHS has the whole school buzzing.

At the Jared Lewis Quirk Speedball Tournament, held at the high school from June 8th through 10th, 17 teams will all be vying for school-wide greatness.

The games will be 15 minutes long with no stoppages in play, and on-the-run substitutions are implemented, like hockey.

Ms. Walsh is in charge of the tournament, and has seeded all the teams and created all the match-ups. The champions of last year’s tournament, God’s Children, captained by Matt Clougherty, is the number one seed. Team NB, captained by Ryan Quirk, will be the 2-seed. These two team’s faced each other last year in the championship, and it took a shootout to crown the victor.

Though those teams are the heavy favorites, there are some other teams to watch out for heading into the tournament. The Barn Burners are led by Eddie Yeadon and features a team of 2016 grads, while Tyler and Terrence Gibson look to lead the Lumberjacks to the title.

The tournament will also feature an all-girls squad, named Hands-Off, who will go up against Italian Meats in the first game of the tournament.

No matter what the outcome, the tournament is sure to be a success. All proceeds will go towards Jared’s scholarship fund.

Let the madness begin!

Bulldog Teams To Compete for State Titles

Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor

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Rockland Hig School’s winter athletic success rolls on. Four teams are looking at competing in the tournament, after three of those teams were crowned league champions.

Coming off a win against Dorchester, the boys’ basketball team is looking to make waves in tournament play. They were crowned South Shore League Champs earlier in the year, and now are the number-one seed in Division 3 South.

“It’s huge,” junior guard Jake Crawford said after finding out they would have a bye in the first round. “We have a good chance of winning our side of the bracket. We’re ready to go.”

Crawford was named a South Shore League All-Star this season, along with junior captain Jakigh Marcelin and senior captain (and leading scorer) Stephen Norris. Norris also took home SSL Player of the Year honors. Coach Fred Damon led the boys to where they are now, and he took home Coach of the Year honors in doing so.

Not having to play in the first round means the boys are automatically in the quarter-finals. They will face the winner of the Mashpee (9) and Burke (8) game on March 5th at the Dog-Pound. Check John Glennon’s Twitter page throughout next week to see what theme the student-section will be partaking in.

The boys aren’t the only basketball team making noise this winter in Rockland.

The girls’ team won the SSL as well, and are the number two seed heading into tourney play. They will face Dedham (15) on March 2nd at home. Again, check in next week for a theme.

The Lady Dogs were undefeated in league play this season, and 17-3 overall. They were led by senior captain and 1,000 point scorer Kyra Rose. Rose took home another SSL All-Star award, and won Player Of The Year. Other SSL All Stars from the team included Erika Ochenduszko, junior Maddie Olsen, and sophomore Danielle O’Brien. Coach Diana Mitchell won Coach of the Year.

The hockey team is the number nine seed in their tournament. They will go up against South Eastern on March 3rd at 8:15 in Bourne.

Hockey All-Stars include junior captain Matt Dunn, sophomore Michael Flaherty, senior captain AJ Clark and junior Chris McHugh. The hockey team also won the SSL Sportsmanship Award.

The Rockland/Abington wrestling squad won the South Shore League, and will be sending wrestlers to the state tournament this year. Coach Tim Brown won coach of the year.

Even though a joint-squad between two longtime rivals seems crazy, the boys were able to succeed all season long. All Stars include Jim Fitzgerald, Adam Russo, Jon Goode, Brad Gasdia, 
Cameron Smith, and 
Alex Freeman.

The swim team found success this season as well. Sarah Margolis, Ryan Sugrue, Mike Rocha, and Sabrina Sprague were SSL All Stars. The team worked very hard and competed throughout the winter.

The Bulldogs are ready to compete in the tournament this winter, as all the playoff-teams will be playing for state-titles and rings. Make sure you come out and support the Dogs.

Winter Athletic Success: A Pleasant Surprise? Or More Than That?

Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor

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Last year was a difficult one for Rockland High School as a collective unit.

In a year when the only team to win a South Shore League title was the swim team, there is so much room to improve.

Fortunately for the Bulldog teams, there is a good chance of not just matching, but tripling or even quadrupling the amount of league titles from last year in just the winter.

How is that possible? So many talented seniors graduated last year. Weren’t we supposed to enter a period of “mediocrity” like some of the student body expected?

No way.

The winter teams this year have a chance to sweep the South Shore. With some key wins, there could be four new years being printed onto the gym banners sectioned “LEAGUE CHAMPIONS.”

The boys basketball team, with help from returning players Stephen Norris, Joe Kimball, and Jakigh Marcelin, are heavy favorites to win the league after defeating Randolph on Friday night on their home court.

Stephen Norris’ senior season has been everything we could have hoped for here at the high school. He was All-Scholastic for football, and leads the South Shore League in points per game. Coming off of a 45-point performance against Hull, (the most points a boys player has scored in a game in RHS history) the senior captain had 16 points in the effort against Randolph.

Another player with varsity experience, junior Jake Crawford, had a game-high 20 points. Crawford also knocked down an unbelievable three-point shot to end the first-half on a high note. Crawford faded away from way behind the arc as the ball went off the backboard and through the twine, immediately sending the student section into hysteria.

Rockland trailed by three points at halftime to an undefeated Randolph team who was ranked in the top twenty in the state by The Boston Herald. Three points at the half…

Wasn’t this year supposed to be a let-down?

In the third, Rockland went on an 18-5 run to take the lead. The defense-oriented Bulldogs held the Blue Devils scoreless for the first 4:30 of the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils battled back to come within five points, but in the end it was not enough. A 54-47 win put Rockland in sole possession of first-place in the South Shore League. The Boston Herald now has the Dogs ranked twenty-fourth in Eastern Mass, one spot above Randolph. 

But… How?

We’ll get back to it in a second. The girls’ basketball team beat the Lady Devils by 52 on Friday night, and also lead the South Shore League. Randolph scored a mere 21 points against Rockland, while junior Maddie Olsen led the Lady Dogs with 20 points.

Before the season started, students at RHS did not know what to make of the girls’ team. Everyone knew senior Kyra Rose would have another stellar year.  She already has three SSL All-Star selections under her belt, as well as an MVP award from her sophomore campaign.

Rose scored her 1000th point on January 5th in front of a packed gym against Cheshire, Connecticut. Her final season as a Lady Dog will probably go down as one of the best in girls’ history.

Returning players, like senior forward Caroline Kilduff and sophomore Danielle O’Brien, have made big contributions for the team. Their varsity experience is tremendously aiding the squad.

The girls are undefeated in league play, and are 8-2 overall. Led by coach Diana Mitchell, a 1000 point scorer herself when she played, the team will be highly competitive in the tournament this year.

But… How?

The wrestling squad has been on the radar this winter as well. The team is well on its way to taking the South Shore League, after a tough second place finish last season.

The team is led by senior Brad Gasdia who won the Cohasset Winter Tournament two weeks ago.

Gasdia also competed in the all-state tournament last year as a junior. He is poised for a big senior year on the mats. 

The hockey team has been very good, and sit with a record of 3-3 divisionally and are in third place. The team is 9-3 overall on the season.

Junior captain Matt Dunn has been scoring from all angles this winter, as the three-sport athlete has two hat-tricks and some multi-goal-scoring games as well.

Senior captains AJ Clark and Dan Leary have been playing great hockey as of late, as well as senior Riley Lang and sophomore Michael Flaherty.  Sophomore goalie Harry O’Brien has been great in net for the Dogs.

Head coach Mike Flaherty, Michael’s father, notched his 100th career win in the team’s victory over Silver Lake earlier this month.

At all times, any player is ready to have his number called and enter the game to make a play and give the stars an opportunity to score.

That has been the theme for every team this winter. Whether Coach Flaherty needs a goal out of Matty O’Brien, a sophomore who is finding the back of the net quite often even though he is not the star of the team. Or if coach Fred Damon needs a key 3-pointer out of senior Mickey Burns, or a defensive stop out of juniors Ryan Leavitt or Andrew Starkey. If Coach Mitchell needs a basket out of freshman forward Adiza Alasa, or anyone else on her bench, she can trust that the plays will be made. All of the winter coaches trust their players in crucial moments.

But… Why?

It’s because of the hours of preparation put in by Rockland athletes during the off-season. The blood, sweat, and tears, (and trust that there isn’t a single exaggeration in that statement) that the players put in day-in and day-out is what allows them to be so successful. The player who comes in and makes one big play and goes right back to the bench is training just as hard as the player who doesn’t touch the bench all game. The players are ready to lend a helping hand and pick each other up when they need it. They are ready to push their teammates during practice, in the weight room, and during the game.

That’s what being a Bulldog is all about. Being able to tell the teammate next to you that you love them and would lay it all out on the line for them. It truly is a special thing to see.

But to opposing teams, don’t let the sincerity towards each other fool you. The Dogs’ bite is just as big as their bark.

(Pictures credited to Rockland High Sports Facebook page.)

Fall MIAA Tournament Information


RHS Varsity Volleyball

Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor & Web Editor

The time to play for your life is now for three of Rockland’s fall teams. Boys’ and girls’ soccer, as well as volleyball, were deemed good enough to begin the quest for a state championship in their respective sports.

The volleyball team goes up against Old Colony(9) at home Thursday night at 6:00. The girls ended the season with a record of 13-6, took home the 8th seed, and are looking to make a deep playoff push. If they win, they will face either Case(1) or St. John Paul II(16). The seniors on the team call for a black-out in the student section.

The boys’ soccer team plays at home on Friday against Fairhaven(11) at 2:30. Rich MacAllister’s group went 12-6 this season and are looking at the number 6 seed. With a win, they will move on to face either Foxborough(3), Blue Hills(14), or Dedham(19).

Girls’ soccer looks to take on Norfolk County Aggie(5) in an away game this Friday at 2:30. The girls find themselves with the number 12 seed after going 10-7-2 this season. The Veritas asked Greg Rowe, the head coach of the team, how deep of a playoff push he is looking to make. He responded with “We’re focused on the next game.” Well said, Mr. Rowe. With a win, the girls will move on and face either Nantucket(4) or Falmouth Academy(13).

Don’t forget to go out and support Rockland Bulldog football, as they face Fairhaven on Friday night at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. The game is at 7:00, and they are looking to end their season on a high note in the coming weeks. Even though they are not playing for a state title, they are a great group to watch with their tenacity and grit.

Come out and support all of your fellow Bulldogs. All the teams are looking to make a deep run this postseason. When the RHS student-sections are loud, the teams have a much better chance of squeaking out wins. Every player looks to leave all they have on the playing field for themselves and our school, do the same for them. Bulldog Nation, they need our help!

RHS Girls’ Varsity Soccer

RHS Varsity Soccer Captain, Gustavo Ribeiro.

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